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Celtics Notes: Smart, Playoffs, Olynyk

The next 12 days are crucial for the Celtics, as they includes matchups against Brooklyn, Miami, Charlotte and Indiana. All of those teams are hovering around the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Boston currently occupies the eighth seed in the conference with a record of 30-38.

Here’s more from Boston:

  • Part of the reason the Celtics drafted Marcus Smart is because of the point guard’s fire and passion, but his flagrant fouls are really hurting the team, writes Chris Forsberg of Smart was suspended for one game without pay for hitting San Antonio Spurs center/forward Matt Bonner in the groin, the league announced on Saturday.
  • If Boston makes the playoffs, they will not have home court advantage and coach Brad Stevens believes the team needs to play better in road games, as he tells Abby Chin of “It’s hard to go on the road and win if you’re not physical. It’s hard to go on the road and win if you don’t believe and work together,” Stevens said. “[The Celtics] are better at it. We’re not as good as we need to be.”
  • Kelly Olynyk has struggled early in his return from an ankle injury, but the team is optimistic about the big man’s future, writes Chris Forsberg in a separate piece. “I think Kelly is starting to get back,” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “There was definitely some rust for being out so long … but Kelly has had some really good offensive games and his defense is improving. We’re happy with Kelly’s development.”

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